IVC Filter Complications
Have you developed complications resulting from an IVC filter?
Blood clots that develop deep inside the pelvis, lower and upper extremities are referred to as deep venous thrombosis, or DVTs. For most people they are not life-threatening. However, for some people, they can cause death if the clots travel to the lungs.
Physicians typically prescribe blood thinners for patients at risk of blood clots; however, for patients who can’t take blood thinners, retrievable inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are often recommended. IVC filters are small, metal devices that are surgically inserted in the patient’s vein. Introduced in 1979, more than 259,000 filters have been inserted in patients by 2012.
The inferior vena cava is the largest vein in the body. It moves de-oxygenated blood from the lower legs to the heart and then the lungs. To prevent blood clots from traveling through the vein into the lungs, possibly causing death, a surgeon implants an IVC filter in the vein using a catheter. The device is intended to work by capturing and trapping blood clots before they reach the lungs.
However, in some cases faulty filters have punctured veins, fractured and migrated to other parts of the body causing life-threatening complications. Former recipients of retrievable IVC filters have filed legal claims against certain manufacturers C.R. Bard and Cook Medical for poor design, manufacturing and failing to warn of risks.
In 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a safety alert regarding retrievable IVC filters. The FDA detailed the following potential hazards:
- Filter particles that break off and can travel to the heart, causing heart attack, or to the brain, causing stroke.
- Components that puncture internal organs or lodge in blood vessels.
- Filters that change position.
The FDA updated its safety communication in 2014, recommending retrievable devices be removed between the 29th and 54th day after implantation in patients in which PE subsided.
The attorneys at Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A. are here to passionately advocate on your behalf. If you or a loved one has suffered complications from a faulty IVC filter, you may be entitled to compensation in an IVC filter lawsuit. Call us at 216-289-4740, or toll-free from Ohio at (855) GOT-HURT.